Posts tagged ‘daughter’

simply s t r e t c h

One of my favorite moments of every day is watching my daughter Nora wake up.  Sometimes she is lying in bed with her eyes open when I go in to check on her.  She’s quietly looking around the room, wrapped up in her swaddling blanket.  Sometimes she’s fussing a bit, making the squeaks and squawks which mean she is about to cry.  Sometimes she’s already crying, mouth wide open and eyes tightly shut.

When I peel open her swaddling blanket, no matter what Nora was doing the moment before, she stretches.  Immediately when her first arm is released, it goes over her head.  Second arm released, goes overhead.  Then a long stretch with her short little arms, and a big arch in her back as she rolls slightly to her side.  Then she stretches her little legs as long as they go.

What an inspiration!  Although Nora has been in many yoga classes since she was conceived–most of them in utero!–nobody had to teach her to stretch first thing in the morning.  It’s something every baby knows to do–after a long sleep, some time in the carseat, or a satisfying meal, pause and take a long stretch, head to toe.

I have so little time to practice these days, but I watch Nora and realize–much as I would enjoy it, I don’t need 90 minutes–or even 9 minutes–to practice yoga.  I just need to pause for one moment, take a deep breath, and stretch myself head to toe.

It’s as simple as that.

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September 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm 2 comments

on the mat

While I love all of the emotional and spiritual growth I receive from my yoga practice, I’ve had a good reminder lately of what a physical practice it is, and how much benefit my body receives from the practice.

The cesarean delivery of my daughter meant a break from my yoga practice, which I had already greatly modified as a result of my great (as in wonderful and large!) belly.  Now, after a break to recover from the labor and delivery, I’m back at it.  And realizing how much strength yoga requires, and how much strength we can build through practice.

I’ve never appreciated more than I do now how much I use my belly in yoga, moving from plank to downward dog and back, moving from downward dog to step forward into a lunge, revolving in any pose.  (And I’ve never appreciated all those women who come back so quickly from their own labor and deliveries–rock on, you mamas!)

Though I am much recovered from labor and delivery, I’m not close to doing all that I could do before Nora’s birth.  It’s astonishing–and frustrating–to realize how much more strength I need to gain.  I try to be in the moment with this body, exploring–and accepting–what I can do right now.  While my intention in coming to my mat right now is to strengthen my body, yoga offers me the chance for my body, heart and spirit to become stronger and more supple as well.

So good to be on the mat again.

July 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm 1 comment

Words

Words have the power to shape the way we think about a thing.  I am grateful to my midwife, not only for helping me birth our lovely daughter (five weeks old and asleep propped against my left thigh as I type), but for teaching me the phrase “cesarean delivery.”

I am grateful to my neighbor, who says her son “sings” in the car, when most moms would call it “crying at the top of his voice.”  (My daughter has a lovely “singing” voice herself.)

I am grateful to my yoga students, who give me an opportunity to consider my own words, to be precise, to speak from the heart, to the heart.

The heart speaks in gentle tones, converses under the din of our everyday language, in which babies cry and women have c-sections.  I try, with my daughter, to chose my words carefully, to consider her tiny, precious heart with every word I speak to her.  Perhaps I can give such consideration to every heart I come across, to bring the language of the heart into my everyday.

July 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm Leave a comment


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